Day 3: Finally laying eyes on our barn-find Morgan project | Cross-Country Morgan Retrieval

Photography by Tim Suddard

Part 3 of the Cross-Country Morgan Retrieval.

Sight unseen, we bought a 1952 Morgan on the other side of the country. Now the fun part: Tim and Margie Suddard get to retrieve it.

Day 3 started early with a decent breakfast at a well-rated greasy spoon about three miles from our hotel called Tommy’s Café. We spent most of our meal thinking about how eager we were to see our new Morgan for the first time in person.

The plan was to meet Dick McClure, who had volunteered to keep the car for the last year for us at his shop until the pandemic lifted, and figure out a plan to load the car into our borrowed Aerovault trailer and get on our way.

When we finally did lay eyes on our 1952 Morgan, we instantly fell in love. We noticed just how tiny the car was, as well as how good a condition it was in considering it was 70 years old and reportedly had not been touched since 1961. Indeed, its red paint displayed the perfect amount of fade and patina.

The Morgan had already been updated to disc brakes and a Triumph TR3 engine, leading us to consider building a nasty little rat rod out of the car instead of restoring it completely.

Before we could load the Morgan, however, we first needed to go up to the Napa Valley to pre-run our upcoming Golden State Tour, set for the first week of October.

After that pre-running, we would return and rope our good friend Alan Galbraith into helping us load the car.

Before leaving Stockton, we had a nice lunch with Dick and his wife Caroline and then headed north in a borrowed, new BMW M3, our ride for the tour mapping. 

Our first stop was Sacramento. Despite all of the time that we’ve spent in California over the years, we never really spent much time in this city–which, as it turns out, is a wonderful, vibrant place that quickly lulled us with its charms.

We went from the suburbs to downtown and then to the California Automobile Museum, where Alan is a board member. Lucky for us, he was able to step away from his busy schedule and give us a quick tour of the rather impressive museum.

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